What do customers expect from your business?
Well, it really depends on what your company actually does however there are some basic services that every client should receive from doing business with you.
Perhaps the starting point is to find out what your customers think of your business in the first place. If they don’t have a positive view then they probably don’t expect very much while on the other hand if they have good things to say about your company then they will probably expect a high level of service.
Should you try and exceed these expectations and go that extra mile?
Standing Out In A Crowded Market
Almost every sector is saturated and every niche will have competition.
Exceeding the expectations of your customers especially as a start-up business will help you stand out from the crowd. It is what will set you apart from the rest. This can be something like offering a personalised service to each client or it can be something smaller such as dealing with a complaint quickly or answering a question on social media in a timely manner.
Going beyond what a customer expects from your business can mean the difference between standing out from the crowd or your company being drowned in mediocrity.
Attracting Repeat Customers
Not every part of your business should be about finding new clients. Your current customers matter too and repeat business is one of the ways in which your company grows.
A 2015 ecommerce study from RJMetrics showed that the most successful online businesses relied on repeat customers for the largest percentage of their income in the third year of operating. This is gained through exceeding a client’s expectations in the first place and then retaining their business by keeping up the same level of customer service.
This does lead us to an interesting question though: can you always exceed your customers or clients’ expectations?
What About Managing Expectations?
For new clients you can certainly go beyond the norm however how do you manage this for repeat customers? You can’t simply exceed their expectations every time you do business with them – eventually you will hit a ceiling of what you can achieve.
If someone has a low opinion of your company then it might be quite easy to exceed what they expect from you but this gets harder and harder as their dealings with your business turn positive and they are happy with your service.
To Exceed Or To Manage?
Doing that little bit of extra work for your clients will leave them with a wholly positive view of your business.
Rather than advertising that you will exceed what they expect from you it is better to engrain a working culture where every employee offers a high level of customer service.
If you do this then you won’t be setting yourself up for a fall by failing to go one better than the last time but you will create an image of your business being dependable, reliable and willing to do a little bit extra for your clients.